Housing NSW – failure to declare conflicts of interest and secondary employment (Operation Coral)

Year: 2010 Status: Completed

The ICAC investigated allegations of corruption involving a former Housing NSW officer, Frank Garzaniti, and his associate, Frank Santomingo. The allegations included that between 2001 and 2008 Mr Garzaniti failed to disclose an interest in Department of Housing contracts that were awarded to, or related to work that was carried out by, companies he and Mr Santomingo had interests in, which enabled himself and Mr Santomingo to benefit financially.

In its report on this investigation, made public on 2 June 2010, the ICAC made corrupt conduct findings against Mr Garzaniti and stated its opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions be sought with respect to his prosecution for the common law offence of misconduct in public office.

Findings of corrupt conduct

The Commission found that Frank Garzaniti, a former officer of Housing NSW, engaged in corrupt conduct:

  • by deliberately failing to declare a conflict of interest to Housing NSW and seek approval from Housing NSW for secondary employment, arising from his interest in G&F Plant Hire Pty Ltd ("G&F"), which performed Housing NSW contract work as a subcontractor to Crossley McLean, from which he derived substantial personal financial benefits, and

  • by deliberately failing to declare a conflict of interest arising from his relationship with his friend Frank Santomingo, whose company Greenfield was used by Mr Garzaniti to conceal his and G&F's involvement in Housing NSW contract work, in order to retain the work and continue to benefit financially from it.

 

 

Recommendations for prosecutions

The Commission must seek the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on whether any prosecution should be commenced. The DPP determines whether any criminal charges can be laid, and conducts all prosecutions. The Commission provides information on this website in relation to the status of prosecution recommendations and outcomes as advised by the DPP. The progress of matters is generally within the hands of the DPP. Accordingly, the Commission does not directly notify persons affected of advice received from the DPP or the progress of their matters generally.

A statement is made pursuant to section 74A(2) of the ICAC Act that the Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the DPP with respect to the prosecution of Mr Garzaniti for the common law offence of misconduct in public office.

Status of prosecution recommendations

Frank Garzaniti

On 22 September 2010, the Office of the Director of Public Prosections advised that there is insufficient evidence to charge Mr Garzaniti with any offence. The Commission has accepted this advice.

 

Recommendations for disciplinary action

Mr Garzaniti resigned from Housing NSW in February 2008 and accordingly no recommendation is made in respect of any disciplinary proceedings against him.

 

 

Recommendations for corruption prevention

Chapter 5 of the Commission's report on this investigation sets out corruption prevention issues and details the reforms implemented in recent years by Housing NSW for a more effective management of corruption risks associated with its maintenance procurement function, conflicts of interest and secondary employment.

In view of these reforms, no corruption prevention recommendations are made to Housing NSW in relation to this investigation.

 

 

 

Media Releases Witness

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Download the Witness List (PDF)

Transcripts

View all transcripts associated with this investigation. The Commission makes every effort to post the daily transcripts of its public inquiries on its website by 8:00 pm each day when possible. If the Commission sits later than 4:00 pm, the daily transcripts, particularly the afternoon session, may not be available until the next working day.

 

Exhibits Public notices